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View Full Version : Bad spaying experience (lesson learned)



Ladybug
20th June 2011, 02:02 PM
When I first joined this forum, Lady had just been desexed and was having a bit of a rough time. At the time I didn't think anything she had gone through with regards to her desexing was unusual, but since talking to several of my colleagues about their recent experiences spaying their puppies (which went far smoother than Lady's), I realised that I should have done more research before choosing a vet.

There are two clinics in my town (which I just moved to at the start of this year for work) and I went to the one that was closer. It is also a more modern facility than the other, with good branding etc., so it looked nice and professional. I had taken Lady to this vet a couple of times before she got desexed and was happy with the service I received. However... after she got desexed she seemed uncomfortable, but as the clinic told me not to take her bandage off for at least 24 hours I couldn't check her wound. After a few hours I got concerned, rang the vet and asked if I could take the bandage off to see if everything was okay. They said that would be fine. So I took it off and 5 of her staples had come out, leaving half of her wound open. I took her in after ringing the after hours emergency line, met one of the vets at the clinic and she stapled her while I held her still (which is always difficult with Lady).

When I went 2 days later for her post-op check up, the vet who did the surgery (a fresh graduate) said sorry and admitted she hadn't used staples before, had not done them tight enough, and the supervising vet said it all looked fine after she had done it.

10 days later I took Lady back to get the staples out, which was long and challenging as she had so many staples to correct her wound and Lady never likes to stay still. As most of her staples were done while I held the squirmy thing, her scar does not look as straight and clean as it should, although I am sure it will fade with time.

On top of this, they tattooed her ears (one with an 'M' to show she is microchipped, and one with a circle with a line through it to show she is spayed) which they did not ask of even inform me they would do prior to the surgery. As far as I'm aware it is not a legal requirement in South Australia to do this and although I see the benefit, it was a shock and I wish I had been told. They looked like large green unattractive splodges and you could not even make out what they were supposed to be. However, I have just now realised that the tattoos did not even work as they tattooed over her hair, rather than directly on her skin. This evening I was cleaning her ears and all the tattoo ink came off without a trace.

I haven't complained, although if I still lived in the city I would be campaigning to get my money back. It's difficult when living in a small town as everyone knows everyone and it might make things more stressful for me.

After that experience, I take Lady and Lola to the other vet. Although they do not have the fanciest practice, the vets are highly experienced, and they charge about 15-20% less than the other clinic. After talking to many people at work, this is the preferred clinic of everyone I talked to. Next time I'll go with word of mouth, rather than appearances.

Brian M
20th June 2011, 02:10 PM
Hi

Glad all is fine now ,but dont worry many of us learn the hard way with similar experiances .At my Vets there are five there and I will
only let two of them near my girls though its not because of things they have done its because after seeing them for general things I
have picked up on something or disagreed with something they have said so will now not go near them .

GraciesMom
20th June 2011, 04:00 PM
One of the most respected vet practices here has gone down hill a bit... has grown too fast. And we took Gracie in for colitis several months ago. They took it upon themselves to remove a couple of mats behind her ears and shaved so close she got razor scabs! NEVER AGAIN!

Karlin
20th June 2011, 04:44 PM
I wonder whether the tattoo was only meant to be a short term indication to hospital staff that the dog had been spayed/chipped? There's not as far as I know, any kind of permanent indication of this that would be put on the hair, and generally only semi-feral cats are marked (by a nick in the ear), that they are neutered, for management reasons. Having had dogs in to be chipped while being neutered and had vets forget to do the chip -- I can see the advantage of just putting a temporary mark on the hair. Maybe ring them and ask? Even if just temporary they should have explained that though. I cannot imagine anyplace that would ever put a mark on a dog's hair like this or how it would work so think maybe this is just a misunderstanding of the purpose.

It is too bad about the staples. :( Most good vet practices would have vet students in to learn (some larger ones might even be a teaching hospital in affiliation with a vet school) but sounds like they needed to have more direct supervision to make sure the staples were done right. The scar will almost certainly not show or show so little you won't even be able to see whether there were ever added staples. One of the biggest problems we in rescue have is trying to determine if females have been spayed because the scar either fades to a tiny mark or pretty much vanishes. My Lily was put under for a spay only to find she had already been spayed -- even experienced vets could not see any mark.

Ladybug
20th June 2011, 11:45 PM
I wonder whether the tattoo was only meant to be a short term indication to hospital staff that the dog had been spayed/chipped? There's not as far as I know, any kind of permanent indication of this that would be put on the hair, and generally only semi-feral cats are marked (by a nick in the ear), that they are neutered, for management reasons.

I asked after her surgery what the green splodges were and they told me it was permanent identification should she be lost and that sometimes they have to re-do the tattoos if they fade over the years.

I discussed this with a vet at another practice and he said most vets in Australia now do permanent tattoos on the under side / inside of the ear once dogs and cats have been desexed (it is law in some states and just common practice in others), but Lady's tattoos were not done correctly. Instead of doing it where the hair stops (in the middle of the ear) or shaving off some hair on the under side / inside of the ear, they did it over her hair (near the end of her ear).

My kitten has a very neat tattoo in her ear (she is from Western Aus) and this is what prompted me to ask why Lady's was so awful. But I'm actually really glad it all washed off - no more unattractive green splodges!